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Multi-IEM Review - 320 IEMs compared (Xiaomi Piston 2 added 08/21/14 p. 958) - Page 893

post #13381 of 14412

Joker...is http://theheadphonelist.com/ down?

post #13382 of 14412
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Francisk View Post
 

Joker...is http://theheadphonelist.com/ down?

 

Yes... there was a planned site upgrade (additional functionality) and something went wrong :(. Resource use went through the roof. It is temporarily offline until the problem is resolved (hopefully that will happen today).

post #13383 of 14412
Thanks for the update Joker
post #13384 of 14412
Quote:
Originally Posted by rawrster View Post
 

 

They certainly are the best iem I've ever heard. It really is more about preference at the level of the JH!3 FP

rawrster, what is your favorite source and amp?

post #13385 of 14412
Tell you what, all earphones I bought according to joker's favorites have brought joy; earphones outside his recommendation like audio technica's ath-im70 and sony's xba-30 are complete disappointment (Except xiaomi piston!). In joker I trust!
Edited by Gandasaputra - 4/12/14 at 9:07pm
post #13386 of 14412
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gandasaputra View Post

In joker I trust!

Amen!

post #13387 of 14412
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gandasaputra View Post

Tell you what, all earphones I bought according to joker's favorites have brought joy; earphones outside his recommendation like audio technica's ath-im70 and sony's xba-30 are complete disappointment (Except xiaomi piston!). In joker I trust!

 

I wasn't a fan of the XBA-3, even chose to pass on reviewing it. Glad my reviews have been useful! 

post #13388 of 14412

Joker, May I ask if you heard the Astrotec Am-900's? I saw the Am-800 review and was looking around at pricing and found them.

 

As for the Fidue, would there be any way to get rid of the sharp edges? Not sure how exactly as sand paper just seems to be a bad idea. =P

post #13389 of 14412
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post
 

 

I wasn't a fan of the XBA-3, even chose to pass on reviewing it. Glad my reviews have been useful! 

It is sad that anything beyond Sony's MH1 line are dookies. You should save your quality time and limit your review to 8-10 ranges earphones, sir! But it'd be entertaining if you could review some badly hyped earphones as well.


Edited by Gandasaputra - 4/12/14 at 11:21pm
post #13390 of 14412
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gandasaputra View Post
 

It is sad that anything beyond Sony's MH1 line are dookies. You should save your quality time and limit your review to 8-10 ranges earphones, sir! But it'd be entertaining if you could review some badly hyped earphones as well.

I thought the EX-1000 was pretty amazing.  It sounded very open with wide stage and sounded detailed with great dynamics.

post #13391 of 14412
Thread Starter 

Website is back with partial functionality. Looks like it was also attacked by a spam bot - hundreds of fake accounts were created in the past 24h. New account creation has been disabled temporarily. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gandasaputra View Post
 

It is sad that anything beyond Sony's MH1 line are dookies. You should save your quality time and limit your review to 8-10 ranges earphones, sir! But it'd be entertaining if you could review some badly hyped earphones as well.

 

I quite liked the EX600 and EX1000 as well, though I think they've been dropped from the lineup.

 

I do try to spend my time on things that are worth reviewing but my plan is to at least write up some brief impressions of things that don't get reviewed in full, either due to poor performance or whatever other reason. Those can be found here: http://theheadphonelist.com/category/brief-impressions/ 

post #13392 of 14412

I hope you get a hand on the V8 from 1964 ears to hear how well it does with the top contenders, although you reviewed the V6 already.  I'm thinnking V6 is more of your taste based on your impressions of UERM and JH13FP.  Guys at the 1964 thread told me V8 is like JH16 to JH13.

post #13393 of 14412
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post
 

rawrster, what is your favorite source and amp?

 

I'm probably not the best to ask about that. With portable audio I just use my phone these days. Many may not agree but I do find my phone good enough. There's very few out there that really does a good enough job for me in terms of good sound and good UI. The AK240 is nice but too expensive for portable audio so I don't see myself getting any higher anymore. However if I'm at home and want to use my iem's I have a Concero HP that I use for those situations.

post #13394 of 14412
Thread Starter 

Added the Olasonic/Ocharaku Flat-4 Nami

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ljokerl View Post

 

 

(1B12) Olasonic Flat-4 Nami TH-F4N

 

Reviewed March 2014

 

Details: Dual-dynamic earphone built for Olasonic by Japan-based Ocharaku
MSRP: $499 (manufacturer’s page)
Current Price: $499 from aloaudio.com
Specs: Driver: Dual Dynamic | Imp: 18Ω | Sens: 104 dB | Freq: N/A | Cable: 3.9′ L-plug
Nozzle Size: 4.5mm | Preferred tips: Comply foam (included)
Wear Style: Straight down (preferred) or over-the-ear

Accessories (3.5/5) – Comply foam eartips (2 sizes) and protective tin carrying case
Build Quality (4.5/5) – The construction of the Olasonics is solid, utilizing thick plastics with metal reinforcement. It is a dual dynamic driver earphone with a metal sound pipe connecting the two driver chambers. The cable is excellent, similar in quality to that of the Dunu DN-1000. It lacks a sliding cinch, but with the large size and unique shape of the Nami, I’m not sure one would have been of much use
Isolation (3/5) – Average, limited in part by the shallow fit of the Nami
Microphonics (5/5) – The smooth and supple cable carries no noise
Comfort (4/5) – The earphones are fairly large and stick a fair distance out of the ear when worn, but are very lightweight and the nozzles are angled slightly, improving ergonomics. Overall, the Olasonics are comfortable, especially with the included Comply eartips, and sound good with a shallow insertion. They are not particularly great for over-the-ear wear, but with the noiseless cable it doesn’t really matter

Sound (9.2/10) – The Flat-4 Nami is a dual-dynamic earphone built for Olasonic by Japanese Hi-Fi house Ocharaku. The twin 10mm drivers of the Flat-4 are oriented back-to-back, with a “sound pipe” connecting the chamber in front of the rear driver to the primary sound tube just before the nozzle. This is claimed to eliminate the 6 kHz ear canal resonance that is common with in-ear earphones (the US patent for this technology can be found here). The Flat-4 Nami nonetheless doesn’t have the smoothest treble response, but it does impress in several other ways. It boasts superb clarity and very tight bass, sounds airy and open, and has a very unique overall sound signature.

The bass of the Nami offers up excellent extension but the earphones are hardly bass-heavy - I expected greater bass quantity after reading the product description. Instead, the low end of the Nami tends to be tight, lean, and delicate. On tracks that call for bass it can beat sets such as the HiFiMan RE-400 in impact but still offers less bass and a cooler tonal character than, for example, the Philips Fidelio S2 and Dunu DN-1000.

Overall, the sound of the Nami is balanced to slightly v-shaped, not so much due to the mids being recessed (they aren’t), but more because of the emphasized upper midrange/treble region. It is a little more v-shaped than the Knowles TWFK-based VSonic VC1000, for instance, but less so than the VSonic GR07. The mids of the Flat-4 are very detailed and clear, albeit at the expense of some note thickness – compared, for example, to the GR07 and Fidelio S2, the Nami is clearer, but also less full-bodied.

The Nami carries a lot of energy through its upper midrange and treble. It tends to be somewhat bright and at higher volumes the treble emphasis can cause it to sound harsh. It is brighter, for example, than the Fidelio S2, with a treble peak that’s higher up, which makes the top end of the Nami a little splashier. Compared to TWFK-based earphones such as the VSonic VC1000 and Dunu DN-1000, the Nami also has a different treble presentation, tending to be a little harsher, but more tolerant of sibilance. To its credit, the Nami seems to avoid sibilance pretty well in general, perhaps as a result of the target 6kHz reduction. It works best with warmer sources and is a treat at lower listening volumes, which is not a tough order as the Nami isn’t a very sensitive earphone.

The presentation of the Olasonic Flat-4 is wide and a little distant. It is among the more open-sounding earphones I’ve tried – more so, for example, than Fidelio S2 and DN-1000, the latter of which is limited by its slightly boomy (in comparison) bass. It lacks the 3-dimensional imaging of certain top-tier balanced armature earphones, such as the Westone W40 and InEar StageDiver SD-2, but is plenty capable overall.

Select Comparisons

VSonic GR07 ($179) 

The VSonic GR07 is a popular accuracy-oriented earphone with a fairly neutral sound signature. Compared to the GR07, the Flat-4 Nami sounds brighter and has tighter bass. The low end of the GR07 is a little more impactful and the VSonics are warmer and fuller-sounding, but also appear more mid-recessed and a touch veiled in comparison to the Olasonic unit. The sibilance of the GR07 is quite prominent next to the Flat-4, especially at lower listening volumes.

Westone W40 ($500)

Westone’s W40 is a quad-armature earphone similar in price to the Flat-4 Nami. The W40 boasts a warmer tonal character compared to the Flat-4, with more bass impact and a more full-bodied sound, while the Flat-4 is less bassy but more controlled at the low end. The W40 is a little veiled in the midrange, while the Olasonic sounds clearer. The W40 has smoother, less prominent treble, and darker overall tonality. The Nami is harsher, especially at higher volumes, but also makes the W40 seem lacking in upper midrange presence. The W40 does have a slightly more well-rounded presentation and imaging, and is significantly more sensitive than the dual-dynamic Nami.

Phonak PFE 232 ($599) 

I had to break my PFE 232 unit out of retirement as my initial listening to the Flat-4 Nami made me think of the Phonak unit many times, especially when it comes to treble and soundstaging. The most striking difference between the two earphones is at the low end – the PFE 232, even with the gray filters, offers up significantly more powerful bass. It sounds a little more v-shaped as a result, but also thicker and more full-bodied. However, the Olasonic unit has clearer, less recessed mids that are extremely nuanced and delicate in a way the PFE 232 can’t match. Both tend to have good treble energy and though their treble character differs slightly, it’s hard to put one above the other in treble quality. The earphones have similarly wide soundstages and good overall imaging ability.

AKG K3003 ($1300) 

AKG’s dynamic-armature hybrid was among the first in the current crop of $1000+ hyper-IEMs. I prefer to use the K3003 with the “Reference” tuning, though in this case the Treble Boost tuning makes for a slightly better signature match with the Flat-4 Nami. The K3003 offers up more bass impact, which gives it a slightly more dynamic sound compared to the lighter-at-the-low-end Olasonic unit. Both earphones have some treble hotness, but emphasize different areas of the treble, which is also true when comparing the Flat-4 to any other TWFK-based earphone. The Flat-4 ends up sounding a touch harsher than the AKG, but the difference is small. The K3003, like the Westone W40, also boasts a slightly more well-rounded presentation but isn’t far enough ahead of the Nami to justify the price difference.

Value (7.5/10) – In many ways the approach taken by Olasonic with these earphones makes me think of another Japanese headphone manufacturer—Final Audio. The Olasonic Flat-4 Nami has the same combination of no-frills, audio-focused design, genuine innovation, and clever marketing. The Nami is not just an interesting-looking earphone with a hefty price tag, however—the sonic signature of the earphones is very unique on the US market and listeners are sure to be impressed by the open sound with excellent clarity and bass control. To me, the Flat-4 sounds best for relaxed, low-volume listening, losing none of the sonic detail or energy and keeping its bass completely under control. It’s a niche product, but for this sort of application it’s as good as anything else I’ve tried.

Pros: Excellent clarity, open presentation, lean & tight bass; no cable noise
Cons: Mediocre-at-best noise isolation; scant accessory pack

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post
 

I hope you get a hand on the V8 from 1964 ears to hear how well it does with the top contenders, although you reviewed the V6 already.  I'm thinnking V6 is more of your taste based on your impressions of UERM and JH13FP.  Guys at the 1964 thread told me V8 is like JH16 to JH13.

 

 

Maybe there'll be a V8-Stage in the future :p 


Edited by ljokerl - 4/13/14 at 8:55pm
post #13395 of 14412

Joker, have you had the chance to listen to the Sony XBA-H3 yet? I got to try it out for a week and I really liked the sound signature, but the poor isolation and huge shells are holding me back from ordering one quite yet. I get the feeling I would always be wanting something with better isolation and whatnot.. I know I've posted a few times before asking for suggestions, but never had an IEM exactly in mind to describe the sound signature I was looking for, but now I've found it in the form of the H3. Any recommendations on sets with similar sound signatures that isolate better?

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